Labour are in trouble and it is difficult to see how they are going to resolve their almost catastrophic and perilous situation. In a week that can only be characterised as classically chaotic there seems no end to the lengthening catalogue of woes, worries and predicaments. Never before has a party of the main opposition of the UK descended into such an uncoordinated and unmanageable shambles so quickly and it looks like this is only the start.
The Blairite backbench remain resolutely disengaged from their front bench Corbynite colleagues and an ‘in your face’ defiance now replaces the campaign of ‘hostile accommodation’. Blairite outriders are now prepared to go on to the media and openly criticise their leadership and in Parliamentary statements the criticism of their leadership is becoming more pronounced. Add to this the poisonous personal criticisms and feuds across this unbridgeable divide and you have the perfect internecine storm.
I know that there is a distinction made between ‘Blairites’ and Brownites’ but I have never fully understood it. Apart from some curious personality issues all are illegal war voting, tuition fees supporting, foundation hospital a-forming, ideologically connected, comrades…. So, for the convenience of this piece, I will group them in the collective ‘Blairite’ after the political historically altering mastermind and most venerated example of the form.
And these ‘Blairites’ are still shell shocked about what has happened to them and there is still disbelief that the party they managed, shaped and built in their image has rejected their stewardship. They now patrol the backbenches like some sort of Kings across the water awaiting the call for them to come and fix it all out once again. Restrained by ‘that mandate’ they recognise the authority that Jeremy and John McDonnell have with the party membership and the huge majority that Jeremy just so recently received means the Blairites need to poke their toes in that water very carefully.
Dumping Jeremy without good cause would be akin to declaring war on the party membership and even the Blairites recognise that in the Labour Party the membership is legion. Meanwhile ‘the membership’ are watching this Blairitie defiance with all sorts of darkening deselection threats and increasingly shrill calls for the Blairites to just support ‘their’ leadership. The thing is the Blairites are not what one could casually refer to as a ‘modest’ bunch and they still believe that they speak for the ‘ordinary Labour voter’, though, it would have to be said, without any real evidence that the British public have found a renewed political affection for high Blairism.
And what of that ‘British public’? Well, there’s only been a couple of opinion polls and UK Labour are crashing down to the levels of Scottish Labour. Outside of Scotland the rest of the UK have not been in the least bit warmed up for Jeremy’s agenda and he is unlikely to convince the English electorate of the value of a political strategy that has only inhabited the fringe of political discourse south of the border. Add to that the fact that the public hate divided parties there seems no prospect of anything other than an absolute electoral hiding when UK Labour have that next day of destiny with the British public.
In Scotland, therefore, we are facing a generation of unwanted Tory rule. In fact it’s even worse than that. Unconstrained by any perceived electoral threat from a diminished and unelectable Labour party the Tories will be only further emboldened. Like an unassailable Thatcher they will up the callousness and cruelty not attempting to make any pretence to even sort of care about the victims in the way of their reinforced and electorally backed ideological agenda.
Yes, Scotland, this was the future union we sort of warned you about. Now, if only there was some sort of solution and way out of all of this for us…..?